Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 226

February Session, 2016

 

LCO No. 1805

 

*01805_______ENV*

Referred to Committee on ENVIRONMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

(ENV)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 22a-255e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

[On and after January 1, 1990, each retail establishment which offers plastic bags to customers for goods purchased at such establishment shall offer paper bags to customers and inform customers that a choice is available. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to require retail establishments to use plastic bags.] (a) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Compostable bag" means a bag capable of being subjected to a process of accelerated biological decomposition of organic material under controlled conditions and that, at a minimum, meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics D6400, as updated.

(2) "Postconsumer recycled material" means a material that is destined for solid waste disposal because of the completion of such material's intended end use and product life cycle. "Postconsumer recycled material" does not include materials and byproducts generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing and fabrication process.

(3) "Reusable bag" means a bag that is provided or sold by a store to a customer at the point of sale that customarily has a handle, is designed for numerous reuses, is machine washable or made from a material that can be cleaned or disinfected, if made of durable plastic, is not less than 2.25 mils thick, and does not contain lead, cadmium or any other toxic material that may pose a threat to public health.

(4) "Single-use carryout bag" means a bag made of plastic that is provided by a store to a customer at the point of sale and that is not a one hundred per cent recyclable bag, a compostable bag or a reusable bag. "Single-use carryout bag" does not include any of the following: (A) A bag provided by a pharmacy to a customer purchasing a prescription medication, (B) a nonhandled bag used to protect a purchased item from damaging or contaminating other purchased items when placed in a one hundred per cent recyclable bag, a compostable bag or a reusable bag, (C) a bag provided to contain an unwrapped food item, (D) a nonhandled bag that is designed to be placed over: (i) Articles of clothing on a hanger, or (ii) a newspaper.

(5) "Store" means a retail establishment that meets any of the following requirements: (A) Is a full-line, self-service retail store with gross annual sales of two million dollars or more and that sells a line of dry groceries, canned goods or nonfood items and some perishable items, (B) contains not less than ten thousand square feet of retail space that generates sales or use tax in accordance with title 12 of the general statutes, (C) is a convenience food store, foodmart or other entity that is engaged in the retail sale of a limited line of goods, generally including milk, bread, soda and snack foods, or (D) is a convenience food store, foodmart or other entity that is engaged in the retail sale of goods intended to be consumed off the premises.

(b) Not later than July 1, 2018, fifty per cent of the single use carryout bags provided by stores to customers for no cost at the point of sale shall be one hundred per cent recyclable, consist of not less than eighty per cent post-consumer recycled materials, have a handle and be designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.

(c) Not later than July 1, 2020, one hundred per cent of the single use carryout bags provided by stores to customers for no cost at the point of sale shall be one hundred per cent recyclable, consist of not less than eighty per cent post-consumer recycled materials, have a handle and be designed and manufactured for multiple reuses.

(d) Not later than January 1, 2017, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with representatives of the grocery and retail industries that will assist in reducing the environmental impacts of paper and plastic single-use carryout bags by establishing commitments for said department and industries that will: (1) Work toward a fifty per cent reduction goal in the distribution of paper bags and single-use carryout bags in the state by 2021 while employing performance targets that assure the accomplishment of such reduction by 2021 and parameters that verify such reduction, (2) establish incentives to encourage a reduction in the demand for such bags and increase use of reusable bags by consumers in the state, (3) establish single-use carryout bag and other plastic packaging recycling programs at all participating supermarkets, grocery stores and retailers, and (4) increase the recycled content and percentage of recyclable, biodegradable and compostable bags offered for distribution by such industries.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2016

22a-255e

Statement of Purpose:

To require a phased-in transition to one hundred per cent recyclable single-use carryout bags that contain not less than eighty per cent post-consumer recycled materials and to require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the grocery and retail industries that provides for a fifty per cent reduction in the distribution of paper bags and plastic single-use carryout bags by 2021.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]